Figure 3. Diffusion tensor imaging in the spinal cords of WT and cerebroside sulfotransferase knock-out (CST-KO) mice.
Image credit: Takano, et. al. 2012 under CC BY license

About ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive, invariably fatal, neurodegenerative disease caused by death of the neurons in the brain and the spinal cord that control voluntary movement. As these ‘motor neurons’ die, signaling to voluntary muscles is disrupted, which leads to muscle weakening, atrophy and paralysis. Eventually, all muscles under voluntary control are affected, and patients gradually lose their ability to walk, talk, swallow, and breathe. During this devastating process, cognitive function is rarely affected. The majority of people with ALS die of respiratory failure within 3 to 5 years of symptom onset.

 


 

General Information About ALS

Listed below are several useful resources for general information about ALS symptoms, causes and treatments:

The ALS Association – What is ALS?

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)  ALS Information Page

NINDS Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Information Page

 


 

ALS Review Articles

For more in-depth information about genetics, mechanisms, biomarkers and drug development for ALS, check out these open-access review articles covering diverse topics in ALS research. Click to download the full article.


From animal models to human disease: a genetic approach for personalized medicine in ALS

Picher-Martel V, Valdmanis PN, Gould PV, Julien JP, Dupré N. From animal models to human disease: a genetic approach for personalized medicine in ALS. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2016 Jul 11;4(1):70. [Pubmed].


Insights into the pathogenic mechanisms of Chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) repeat expansions

Todd, TW and Petrucelli, L. Insights into the pathogenic mechanisms of Chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) repeat expansions. J Neurochem. 2016 Mar 26. [Pubmed].


Toward precision medicine in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Zou ZY, Liu CY, Che CH, Huang HP. Toward precision medicine in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Ann Transl Med. 2016 Jan;4(2):27.[Pubmed].


Frontotemporal dementia: a bridge between dementia and neuromuscular disease.

Ng AS, Rademakers R, Miller BL.Frontotemporal dementia: a bridge between dementia and neuromuscular disease.Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2015 Mar;1338:71-93.[Pubmed].


Translating biological findings into new treatment strategies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Poppe, L., Rué, L, Robberecht, W., Van Den Bosch, L. Translating biological findings into new treatment strategies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Exp Neurol. 2014 262(B):  pp 138-151. [Pubmed].


Glial cells in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Philips T, Rothstein JD. Glial cells in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Exp Neurol. 2014 Dec;262(B): pp 112-120. [Pubmed].


The past, present and future of stem cell clinical trials for ALS.

Thomsen, G.M., Gowing, G., Svendsen, S., Svendsen, C.N. The past, present and future of stem cell clinical trials for ALS. Exp Neurol. 2014 262 (B): pp 127–137. [Pubmed].


Microglia centered pathogenesis in ALS: insights in cell interconnectivity.

Brites, D., Vaz, A.R. Microglia centered pathogenesis in ALS: insights in cell interconnectivity. Front Cell Neurosci. 2014 May 22: pp. 8-117. [Pubmed].


25 years of neuroimaging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Foerster, B.R., Welsch, R.C., Feldman, E.L. 25 years of neuroimaging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Nat Rev Neurol. 2013 Sep 9(9): pp 513-524. [Pubmed].


Deciphering amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: What phenotype, neuropathology and genetics are telling us about pathogenesis

Ravits, J., Appel S, Baloh R.H., Barohn, R. et al. Deciphering amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: What phenotype, neuropathology and genetics are telling us about pathogenesis. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2013 May: 14(01): pp. 5–18. [Pubmed].


Mechanisms, models and biomarkers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Turner, M.R., Bowser, R. Bruijn, L., Dupuis, L. Mechanisms, models and biomarkers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2013 May ; 14(01): pp. 9–32. [Pubmed].


 

 

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